Training for the 5K with Stevie Ray Vaughan
Setting Goals for a 5K Running Race
Setting realistic goals for exercise is an important tool for keeping your workouts interesting. In my own journey back to the healthy fitness world I have incorporated small goals that have led to building my confidence. In just 8 weeks I have lost almost 10 pounds, increased my aerobic stamina and have committed to participating in my first 5K.
Every so often I challenge myself even beyond the norm for me and end up in a Lucy Ricardo moment. That is, I wind up asking myself, “How the heck did I get here?” I have a feeling that on Saturday morning, (that is September 10th, to be exact—just two days away), I will be asking that very question as I warm up for the big race.
The ‘big race’ is already making me nervous. I have already conceded to the fact that I won’t run the entire race, and that is okay. Walking will get me to the finish line just as well. I am proud to say that I have increased my jogging from a mere 5 minutes, when I first began this quest, to 35 minutes of nonstop running at a rate that went from 3.0 on the treadmill to 4.2 without gasping for breath. I’m hoping to finish within an hour and a half. If things go well, maybe cut it back to an hour.
I have to admit-I’m getting cold feet; not a good thing when it is your feet that you are counting on to carry you through the race. How do I cope with my nerves? Well, I keep in mind that this is not a life and death event, it is merely for enjoyment; I breathe into my belly to calm myself down; and I remember that I have invested twenty hard earned dollars to register-all for a good cause, (cancer fundraiser), but admittedly, there are many other things I could have chosen to do with twenty bucks.
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How to meet your fitness challenges
I like to think of this as an exercise in fortitude. One doesn’t know how much resilience one really has until put to the test. Showing up at the starting line amidst a throng of strangers is that test. How badly can I really embarrass myself?
I’m not alone in pushing the envelope of self challenges. Unbeknownst to me, my sister, hubber Danette Watt, signed up that same weekend for a 5K in her local area. I didn’t realize this until a phone conversation came around to that subject. I think she has a handle on it much better than I have-she’s been doing her practice runs outdoors and has acclimated herself to the weather conditions. I, on the other hand, have enjoyed the cool temps of the indoor treadmill AND an additional fan blowing on me. Okay, not the best training, I’ll agree, but I have recently worked out without the extra fan.
Speaking of training, you may wonder what my secrets are…well, there is only one that I can really offer because I am only a novice in the world of fitness. My best advice if you want to participate in the 5K is to ‘JUST DO IT!’
Did you happen to catch that I said, “Participate” and not “run”? It is part of the secret-to do what you can from where you are right in this moment. Don’t compare yourself to other people who are running. That includes your neighbor, your family members, and your best friend. Each person is only expected to do what they are capable of…and perhaps push themselves a little beyond the ordinary.
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How to Run a 5K Race: Pre-Race Tips
There are all sorts of support out there if it is your desire to compete in a race. I was amazed that when I voiced my plan out loud to a staff member at the fitness center a fellow member began to ask all sorts of questions about time and shoes. He offered support and encouragement-LOTS of encouragement as a matter of fact. Since he has participated in previous races he was able to share valuable information.
As for shoes-well, it’s vital to have a good pair of shoes to absorb the shock of the terrain. My biggest mistake is that I did not find that pair and have to rely on my tried and true at this point. To use a brand new pair at this late date would be a mistake I don’t want to make. I am familiar with my old, worn out sneakers, and they are a comfortable fit…just not as cushy as they once were. I’ll settle for a good foot soak at the end of the race.
Staying motivated while training is important also. If you lose interest because of boredom it will take away the energy you need for the actual event. Some of the ways I stayed motivated were by changing the routine-working out at different times of the day, for instance. Also, I changed the venue-I actually did get outdoors and jog in the streets and fields near our home. Sometimes I would jog while taking the dog for her run. She enjoyed chasing after me or speeding ahead. While on retreat I jogged the campus walkways. A huge difference because there were rolling hills that were challenging. But, it was a change of pace.
Finding your own rhythm is a key factor in pacing yourself. I have a friend who competes in races. This tall athlete invited me to run with him while we were in retreat. I stand at a just over 5 feet and he is well over 6 feet tall. Although we never did have that opportunity due to our schedule, I couldn’t imagine what type of run he was referring to, because he’d have to slow down for me. I know I wouldn’t be able to keep up with him.
I use music to motivate and help me to keep a rhythm. In fact, I’ll be taking Stevie Ray Vaughan with me when I join the others this Saturday. Stevie and I go way back. I used to listen to his music in blues bars, and although I never saw him in person, I have many of his CD’s and he has kept me moving on that treadmill.
Crossfire: One of the many songs I jog to. I like the easy rhythm and the beat: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and...each count a step. Two albums I listen to while working out are: Texas Flood and In Step.With Stevie crooning to me this Saturday morning, I can’t go wrong. I’ll keep you posted on the results of the race.
Additional 5K Running Tips:
- How I Ran My First 5K and How You Can Do It Too
My experience training for my first 5K race along with tips and advice for beginning runners.